My students arrive around 8 and straggle in until about 8:10. During this time they are unpacking, turning in notes, signing up for lunch, sharpening pencils, and doing Morning Work. Morning Work lately has been Word of the Day papers, but in the past I have had students do sentence editing or a few problems from the Mountain Math board. I don't give them much because I want to be able to start AT 8:30 on the dot. When they have completed their Morning Work they grab a Daily 5 Rotation Stick and choose which order they would like to do rotations in. The only 2 rotations I have pre-determined are Listening Center (because I can only have 4 there at a time) and Meet with the Teacher. I have included Meet with the Teacher instead of Work on Writing for now. When I add Work on Writing I am going to take out Read to Self. Why? I am ok with this because each student goes into Read to Self as soon as they are done making their Daily 5 choices on their sticks. I do have a few kiddos that are still doing Morning Work at 8:30, so they don't get to go to Read to Self, but those are the ones who struggle reading by themselves anyway.
OK so it is 8:30 and my 2 aides have arrived. I mentioned this in another post, but one is my normal classroom aide. She is in my room for 45 minutes. The other one is there to assist my 2 IEP kids, but she is so flexible and willing to take on an extra kiddo in her group. My classroom aide takes my 3 kiddos that need an extra eye.
At 8:30 I have everyone transition back to their desks. Transitions are SUPER DUPER important to practice a ton! They need to hear your cue and move immediately. I begin with a mini lesson. How do I choose which mini lesson? We just adopted Journey's and they provide a focus wall.
I generally use only this to choose from. I have pretty much eliminated all other use of the teacher's manual. So at the beginning of the week I take a look at the focus wall and I decide what I am going to cover and how many times I should do it. So for example, yesterday our first mini lesson was on editing sentences. So I did a QUICK blurb on editing marks and did an example on ELMO. Then we broke out to Daily 5 Rotation #1. I say, "Rotation #1". They grab their sticks and look where they are going first in Daily 5. While the other kids are doing Daily 5, I have 3 small groups going. My classroom aide, my special education aide, and myself are all working on the same activities plus I have a 2nd activity because I am meeting with all other groups. This particular one yesterday we were all using Farrah Shipley's AMAZING AMAZING new unit called, Fall Fun Sentence Editing Unit.
Each of the adults has a large bin where I throw everything that we will need for the day. I put 3 of Farrah's incorrect sentences, her editing marks cards, and dry erase sleeves in each bin. In my group I gave everyone a sleeve with a sentence inside. They had to work independently to find the mistakes. In the other two groups they worked together to find the mistakes. I could not believe how well they did. They were so proud when they found everything. I even had several of them asking to do it again! So I had them switch sleeves and give it another go. The excitement over these editing sentences created a buzz in my room. They were having fun AND learning at the same time. I LOVED it! Honestly, it could not have been better. You seriously need to head over to TPT right now and check it out!
Now it is about 8:55 or 9:00 and I bring the kids back together for our 2nd mini lesson. Yesterday, I reviewed r blends and -ip family words. This mini lesson was really quick because it was the 2nd or 3rd time we had talked about it this week. I sent them back for Daily 5 Rotation #2. This time I had a new group, but my aides had the same kids. (These kiddos need constant attention). We read the decodable reader together that comes with our series. After we read it I had the students use highlighters to find all of the r blend words and -ip family words. They go ga-ga over highlighters! My group not only did the decodable readers, but the Fall Fun Sentence Editing stuff too.
9:15 my aides leave and I have the students come together for one more mini-lesson. We were working on Main Idea and Details this week, so I used the Journey's projectable web. We talked about our weekly story and worked together to find the Main Idea and Details of the story. They did an incredible job!!! I love being able to see so much growth with them so quickly! I sent them off to 3rd rotation. I met with my 3rd small group. Again I worked on sentence editing and decodable readers. My two groups that worked with my aides are now doing normal Daily 5 activities. We work until about 9:30 ish then stop for a restroom break.
When we come back we are done with Daily 5 for now.
We start up again at 10:15 because this is when RTI begins. I send EIGHT kids out of the room to meet with reading specialists. That leaves 12 kids. I don't do mini-lessons during RTI. They go straight to 4th rotation. I meet with my last group. Again I am doing sentence editing and the decodable reader. At about 10:30 I send them all to rotation #5. I do not have a group. I need to start progress monitoring students, so I may use this time to fit one in a day OR I can meet with individuals to reinforce something they may be having difficulty on.
I hope this gives you an idea on how my classroom looks and as always I am more than happy to answer questions. It helps me reevaluate and make changes to better suit my students.